» 12/11/2013, 00.00
Pope: Never fear the final judgment, because Christ will always be at our side
God "did not send his Son to condemn, but to save" and "he who believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is already condemned," and in this sense "the judgment has already begun". New appeal against hunger in the world. America, land of welcome, “a land capable of respecting human life at every stage".
City ( AsiaNews) - Do not be afraid of the final judgment of God, when the good
will be separated from the bad, because Jesus will always be at our side,
because we can rely on the intercession and the benevolence of the saints and
because God "
did not send his Son to condemn , but to save " and ""he who
believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is already condemned,"
and in this sense "the judgment has already begun".
Pope Francis dedicated his
general audience to the "Last Judgment ", the last catechesis , he
said, on the Creed. 40 thousand people were in St Peter's Square , where the
Christmas tree has already been erected.
As is tradition the Pope toured around the square in his open topped
jeep for ore than 40 minutes greeting,
blessing , hugging and kissing dozens of children and "exchanging" his skullcap
for ones offered by some of the faithful .
general audience was also an opportunity for the Pope to renew his call for the
campaign of Caritas Internationalis "One family, food for all" to
which he dedicated a recent
video message . Francis
returned to evoke "the scandal for the millions of people who suffer from
hunger ," inviting " all individuals, communities, families and
institutions " to act , joining " this wave of solidarity."
believe in eternal life" was the passage from the Creed chosen by the
Pope, focusing on the final judgment. "But - he
immediately said - do not be afraid ." "When
we think of the return of Christ and his final judgment, which will reveal even
to its furthest consequences the good each person has done or failed to do
during their earthly life , we perceive that we are faced with a mystery that
hangs over us that
we can not even imagine. A mystery that almost instinctively arouses in us a
sense of awe, and perhaps even trepidation. However, if we think carefully
about this fact, it can only swell the heart of a Christian and be a great
reason of comfort and
because the Christian revelation ends, in the Apocalypse, with " the
embrace of Jesus, who is the fullness of life , the fullness of love. So we
embrace Jesus! If we think of the judgment in this perspective , all fear and
doubt vanishes and leaves a deep joy and expectation It will be the time when
we will be judged finally ready to be clothed with the glory of Christ, like a
wedding garment, and be conducted to the banquet , an image of full and
definitive communion with God " .
"A second reason for
confidence is offered by the finding that, at the time of judgment, we will not
be left alone. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus preannounce that those followed
him will join him in glory to judge everyone with him".
That's nice to know that at the time, not only can we count on Christ, our
Paraclete, our Advocate with the Father, but we also can count on the goodwill
and the intercession of so many of our brothers and sisters who have preceded
us in the journey of faith , who have offered
their lives for us and who continue to love us unconditionally! The saints
already live in the sight of God , in the splendor of his glory praying for us
who still live on earth. What great consolation this certainty brings to our
hearts! The Church really is a mother and as a mother , seeks the good of her children
, especially those who are most distant and distressed, until it finds its
fulfillment in the glorious body of Christ with all of her members . "
"Another suggestion is
offered to us in the Gospel of John , which states explicitly that" God
did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world , but that the world
might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned but
whoever does not believe is already condemned, because he hath not believed in
the Only Son of God "( Jn 3:17-18 ) . This means that the 'final' judgment
has already begun, it begins right now, in the course of our earthly
existence. Such judgment is pronounced in every moment of life, as reflected in
our acceptance in faith of salvation present and active in Christ, or of our
unbelief , with the consequent closing in on ourselves".
"But if we close ourselves -
ourselves - to the love of Jesus , we condemn ourselves ! We condemn ourselves
! Salvation is opening ourselves to Jesus and He will save us . If we are
sinners - all, we all are , all of us ! - we ask for forgiveness and go with the desire
to be good, the Lord forgives us. But for this we must open ourselves open to
the love of Jesus, which is stronger than all the other things . The love of
Jesus is great ! The love of Jesus is merciful, the love of Jesus forgives !
But you have to open up and opening up to it means to repent, lament the things
that we have done that are not good".
"The Lord Jesus has given
and continues to give Himself to us, to fill us full of mercy. So in a certain
sense we can become our own judges, condemning ourselves and excluding
ourselves from communion with God and with others. Therefore, we must never tire of being
vigilant over our thoughts and behavior, to obtain even now, a foretaste of the
warmth and the beauty of the face of God and that will be beautiful! Of the God
who we will contemplate eternal life in all His fullness". Come! Lets move forward, thinking of this
judgment that begins now . It has already started ... Lets move forward, with
hearts open to Jesus , to His salvation . Let's move forward, without fear
because the love of Jesus is greater and if we
ask forgiveness of our sins , He forgives us ! That is how Jesus is! Let us
move forward with this certainty, that bring us to the glory of heaven".
Pope Francis concluded by
pointing out that tomorrow is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe , Patroness of
all America . "
For this occasion - he said - I want to greet all the brothers and sisters on
The appearance of the image of the Virgin in his tilma (cloak ) of Juan Diego
was a prophetic sign of an embrace , the embrace of Mary to all the inhabitants
of the vast American lands , the ones that were already there and those to
come. This embrace of Mary showed the path that has always characterized the
whole of America , a land where different people can live together , a land
able to respect human life in all its stages, from birth to old age, able to
as well as the poor and marginalized of all times . A generous land".
Pope: the Church is the "body of Christ", let's not harm it with divisions, personal interests and "gossip"
At the general audience Francis appeals for migrants and their families and to "bear witness to the Gospel of life." "All together, all together with our differences, but united, united forever, that is the path of Jesus! Unity is beyond all conflict, unity is a grace that we must ask the Lord." Seek unity even among evangelicals, Catholics and Orthodox.
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A rain soaked General Audience again devoted to the words of the Creed on the Church . The Church is not an elite but for all mankind. "Proclaiming and witnessing to the faith is not a matter for a few, it concerns me, you, each one of us ." New invitation to pray for peace in the Middle East. To the Bishops of North Africa, to "establish fraternal relations with our brothers in the Islamic religion". " Prayer and pain " for the dead of the " Lampedusa tragedy."
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Prayer and proclamation of the Gospel are the basic tasks that Christ gave to the apostles . The Church is missionary "through prayer, proclamation and witness", if it closes in on itself "it betrays its identity."
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At the general audience Francis illustrates "the meaning and the consequences for our lives," of the phrase in the Creed: "Jesus ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father." "Entering into the glory of God requires daily fidelity to His will, even when it requires sacrifice or a change of plan." Solidarity with Iranians and Pakistanis affected by the earthquake. He tries on a zucchetto offered to him by a faithful.
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